Filipe Brito Bastos


I began my international career with an LLM (2014) and PhD (2018) in European Union (EU) administrative law at the European University Institute (EUI). My PhD defence committee included leading scholars, such as Deirdre Curtin (my supervisor), Miguel Poiares Maduro, Paul Craig, and Herwig Hofmann. In 2017, I was a research associate at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and later postdoc at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance. From 2020, I was Of Counsel in Public and EU law at PLMJ, a major Lisbon law firm. I left private practice in 2022 to work as full-time assistant professor at NOVA School of Law in Portuguese and EU Public (constitutional and administrative) law. I was on parental leave May-August 2023.
I see my profile as equally international and Portuguese. My main research agenda is aimed at a European audience. It emphasises the distinctiveness of EU public (especially administrative law) in respect of ‘traditional’ national public law. It highlights the unique challenges that the fragmented and multilevel structure of the EU’s administrative system presents to basic rule of law values, such as judicial review, to the protection of individual rights, as well as to the preservation of the sensitive balance of power between the Union and the Member States. My research has been published in leading EU law journals (e.g., Common Market Law Review, German Law Journal, European Constitutional Law Review) and applied by EU institutions and Agencies in practice.
Domestically, my research also aims at translating the implications of my internationally-oriented work for the reform of Portuguese public law in theory and practice. I incorporate this integrated perspective in my teaching, at both bachelor’s and master’s level. My experience in legal practice has helped me in finding practical applications for my research and provided me with a professional network that I use to facilitate the transition of my students into the job market.




My research builds on dialogues between national and EU public law; administrative and constitutional law; law and empirical multilevel administration theory; and legal scholarship, on the one hand, and policy and practice, on the other.
My ideas have been published in respected EU law journals and presented at many events. Internationally, I am mostly known for my work on composite administrative procedures, a complex form of decision-making involving joint exercise of authority by national and EU administration, found in most areas of EU law. My most relevant ideas include:
– A theory of derivative illegality in composite decision-making (i.e., the possibility for final decisions taken by EU administration to be illegal due to illegal actions of national authorities). Because of this theory, I won the Research Network for European Administrative Law’s Young Scholar’s Award in 2019.
– A theory of unitary procedural and judicial protection (national and Union authorities are jointly responsible for procedural rights and jointly accountable before courts)
– The concept of “administrative crack” (EU law is structurally unable to preserve the rule of law in all instances of composite administration)
The impact of my ideas has been significant. My article on “Derivative Illegality”, was explicitly cited in CJEU cases (the Advocate Generals’ Opinions in Cases C-219/17 and C-785/18) to help clarify the boundaries of the CJEU’s jurisdiction and prevent rule of law gaps in terms of judicial control.
The European Central Bank has used my research in pleadings and in 2020 invited me to present it, in Frankfurt, at a meeting of between the legal services of national bank supervisors. My contact with practice inspired me to continue this dialogue and write on legal aspects of multilevel administration in the EU’s Banking Union. In 2020, I co-wrote a report for the European Parliament on the matter.
My work has also influenced the governance of personal data protection. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) cites my PhD in Guidelines 3/2021, which regulate the resolution of disputes between national data protection authorities by the EDPB and protect the rights of individuals. Because of my expertise, I was later invited to write a study on the conformity of the guidelines with the CJEU’s case law on administrative procedure rights, and to share my views on administrative governance of data protection at the high-level European Data Protection Supervisor’s 2022 conference, which gathered world-leading policymakers, activists, and scholars. Drawing on these exchanges, I have recently coauthored an article for European Constitutional Law Review where we contend that the EU’s system of data protection law enforcement, constitutionally, needs to be far more centralised than it currently is – an argument likely to influence ongoing political discussions on further empowering the EDPB and on the Commission’s agenda to harmonise national enforcement procedures.
My new developing line of research draws on my exchanges with data protection governance and which will likely lead to a funding application. My hypothesis is that, because they are (the only) authorities recognised as integral parts of a human right (to data protection), under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, data protection authorities must enjoy a constitutionally more robust power than other authorities. I have presented this preliminary idea at a seminar at the London School of Economics and will do so again at the ICON-S conference in Madrid in 2024.
I have proposed a new methodological framework in an article published in the German Law Journal (recently translated into Spanish) and in events organised by the EU administrative Law Dialogues and the German Research Institute for Public Administration (FÖV). I borrow from the interdisciplinary work of a law academic and a political scientist (Shaw and Wiener) who noted the “touch of stateness” – that preconceptions drawn from the nation-state context distort analysis of EU law and governance. I show that EU administrative law doctrine has been deeply affected by the touch of stateness. I argue this can be explained by the historical link between public administration and the state, and the fact that jurists assimilate basic concepts and theories from their legal education in a national legal system. Scholars from distinct legal cultures often speak past each other, and overlook issues without a precedent in national contexts as well as normative dilemmas that emerge from the EU’s unique constitutional structure. The methodology I propose raises awareness of domestic biases and pleas for bottom-up analysis of EU case law (rather than top-down, starting from abstract – national – legal theories) that is both constitutionally contextualised (accounting for the EU’s specificities) and empirically grounded (in political science research on multilevel administration).



As a teacher, I give guidance and provide pastoral support to as many bachelor’s and master’s students as I can. I encourage them to develop research habits from the earliest stages of their studies.
I have been invited to provide feedback at young scholars’ workshops at the European University Institute.
In the 5 and a half years since I defended my doctoral thesis, I only supervised a handful of master’s theses and only three have defended so far. Two are now in leading law firms in Dublin and Lisbon; one is an in-house lawyer at a multinational in The Netherlands. I am co-supervisor to two doctoral students. I would like to supervise and mentor more young scholars in the future, and attribute the relatively low number so far to the fact that we at NOVA School of Law only reinstated a master’s specialisation in public law this year (which I have co-founded and currently co-coordinate).



I have peer-reviewed articles for leading journals in EU law (European Law Open, Legal Issues of Economic Integration, and European Journal of Risk Regulation) and a book proposal for Cambridge University Press.
I edited one special issue in Review of European Administrative Law and co-edited another, with Deirdre Curtin, in European Public Law. Both emerged from workshops that I organised and co-organised, respectively, which brought together scholars working on EU administrative governance (e.g., EU agency networks, interoperable data exchanges, multilevel regulatory cooperation), from very different fields (e.g., migration, antitrust, banking) and approaches (e.g., empirical, theoretical, comparative). The events and issues consciously ensured balance in terms of gender, seniority, and geographical representation.
This concern with balance also pervaded smaller events I organised as provisional coordinator of NOVA Green Lab (e.g. on Green Finance). Besides inviting early career scholars (e.g., from Yale or the EUI) to present, I always paired one senior discussant (a more established scholar or practitioner, e.g., from the European Stability Mechanism or the president of a Portuguese regulatory agency) with a junior discussant (e.g., a master’s or even bachelor’s student. I firmly believe that encouraging young students to engage in high-level debates will motivate them to confidently take up greater challenges and conduct their own research in the future.



I have described my contributions and transfer of knowledge to society, namely the public sector, in the previous sections.
– By publishing in high-ranking, reputed, and preferably open-access journals, I have made my research visible, and usable, to the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Data Protection Board;
– My expertise in EU administrative law, and subsequent publications on the administrative law of the European Banking Union, led to me writing a report on judicial and administrative accountability in the Single Resolution Mechanism and Single Supervisory Mechanism;
– My expertise in EU administrative law, in particular in composite decision-making, led me to being invited to produce a study advising the European Union’s Data Protection Watchdog, the European Data Protection Supervisor, on the administrative procedures that national data protection authorities should follow when they disagree with one another; it was the same recognition that led the European Data Protection Supervisor to invite me to speak at the 2022 conference on the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation;
– Because of my work on composite decision-making and data protection, I was invited to give an online talk to BEUC (the European Consumer Organisation);
– Because of my expertise in EU and Portuguese public law, I have provided training sessions to in-house lawyers of the Portuguese Regulatory Authority in Telecommunications.



In “Doctrinal Methodology in EU Administrative Law” (doi: 10.1017/glj.2021.20), published in the German Law Journal, I advocated for my own methodological approach, which deploys doctrinal and interdisciplinary insights to analyse EU administrative law in its unique political and constitutional context.
“Derivative illegality in European composite administrative procedures”, published in Common Market Law Review, my most-cited article (, showcases my commitment to doctrinal analysis that is impactful (it has been used widely in legal practice) innovative (it introduced an entirely new theoretical framework to EU administrative law) and versatile (it has been used by scholars and practitioners working e.g., in medicines regulation, banking, and data protection).
“An Administrative Crack in the EU’s Rule of Law”, published in European Constitutional Law Review (doi: 10.1017/S1574019620000073), illustrates how I use my work to expose structural judicial review (and hence rule of law) gaps emerging from the mismatch between the EU’s increasingly complex administrative system and its outdated and simplistic system of judicial control.
“Is Centralised General Data Protection Regulation Enforcement a Constitutional Necessity?”, coauthored with Palka, was published in European Constitutional Law Review (doi: 10.1017/S1574019623000202). The paper reflects my ability to form effective partnerships with scholars from different disciplinary (law and tech) and geographical (Jagiellonian University of Krakow) backgrounds, and to contribute to legally challenging, policy-relevant debates. The paper also shows the trajectory of my research agenda, building on my past work to ask new questions about constitutional aspects of administrative governance in EU regulation of technology.
Since 2018, I have researched in much further depth the most fundamental questions I raised in my doctoral thesis. The CJEU’s case law, I argue, has developed implicit principles specifically for joint decision-making by national and Union administrations that have no precedent in national laws. Said principles, I claim, abandon EU administrative law’s original federal blueprint, and constitute a kind of European postfederal administrative law. This work has resulted in a manuscript, titled “Unity and Dominance in Composite Decision-Making”, which has been accepted for publication by Hart Publishing and should be in print in 2024.


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